Lecturer and Director of Education and Outreach of the National Security Journalism Initiative
Josh Meyer, an award-winning national security journalist and author, is the McCormick Lecturer in National Security Studies in Medill’s Washington program. He teaches graduate level journalism classes on covering conflicts, terrorism and national security and leads the National Security Reporting Project, an immersive three-month experience in which students report globally in collaboration with professional media partners. He is also the director of education and outreach for the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative, which aims to find the best ways to teach and do national security journalism across all digital platforms. Its topics include covering terrorism, war, conflict, cybersecurity and homeland security, but also emerging threats related to climate change and food, water and energy security. He is helping build the initiative into a nation’s only full-fledged center of excellence that assists and informs students, working journalists, scholars and others on issues of national security interest.
Meyer joined Medill in early 2010 from the Los Angeles Times/Tribune Washington Bureau, where he had created the first multidisciplinary global terrorism and security beat after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Meyer spent 20 years at the Times, and won or shared dozens of local, state and national awards, including two staff Pulitzer Prizes and an Overseas Press Club award for his investigative reporting on al-Qaida’s pre-9/11 plots on America. He is also the co-author of the book, “The Hunt for KSM: Inside the Pursuit and Takedown of The Real 9/11 Mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed,” which the New York Times hailed as an Editors’ Choice work of major significance. The Washington Post and Kirkus Reviews both listed it as one of the top non-fiction books of 2012.
Meyer’s teaching philosophy is embodied by his leadership of the National Security Reporting Project: That to truly learn the craft of journalism, especially in today’s rapidly changing media environment, students must be given the opportunity to push themselves far outside of their comfort zones, and to be willing to try and fail. They learn best by getting out into the field and reporting, writing and producing for professional media outlets under the close supervision and mentorship of experienced journalists and teachers.
Meyer is Medill’s representative on the advisory board of the Pakistan Center for Excellence in Journalism, a major project headed by the International Center for Journalists to train Pakistani journalists and build an MSJ curriculum there. He also continues to work as a national security journalist, writing for Atlantic Media, FirstLook Media, Reuters, Der Spiegel, Salon and other outlets. He is serving his second term on the board of directors of Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc., the oldest and largest professional association of investigative reporters with more than 4,000 members worldwide. Meyer is also a frequent invited speaker on national security and investigative reporting issues, and a regular guest expert on major network TV and radio outlets. He is often invited by intelligence, law enforcement and military agencies to talk about issues of national security and terrorism.